President Aquino directs security cluster to be ‘overprepared’
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Saturday convened his security cluster following the brutal terrorist attacks in Paris and ahead of the arrival in Manila of leaders and delegates for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit.
The President held the meeting at Bahay Pangarap, his official residence. It began at 1 p.m. and lasted for an hour and a half, the Inquirer learned.
A photo of the meeting posted on the Twitter account by Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III showed that at the meeting with the President were Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa, Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Interior Sec. Mel Senen Sarmiento, Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez, and former AFP chief of staff Emmanuel Bautista.
Asked about the meeting, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the “President went over security measures and gave instructions to ensure that everything is in place and all contingencies prepared.”
“The President believes that it is better for us to be overprepared than underprepared,” Valte said.
Manila is set to host the Apec Summit and the Apec Economic Leaders Meeting this week, which will be attended by leaders like US President Barack, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. CDG